Charlie Fellowes admitted to having mixed emotions after his stable star Prince Of Arran was narrowly denied on his Australian return in the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes on Saturday.
The globetrotting six-year-old enjoyed a successful stint in the southern hemisphere in 2018, finishing third in the Herbert Power before winning the Lexus Stakes and finishing an excellent third in the Melbourne Cup.
With the Flemington showpiece on the first Tuesday in November again his chief objective, Prince Of Arran looked set to prevail at Caulfield after hitting the front in the straight, but was mowed down late and beaten half a length by The Chosen One.
"First and foremost I was delighted to see him run so well," said Fellowes.
"He's been the most amazing horse for us. You could go 30 years without coming across like a horse like him, so for us to have him after only five or six years of training is incredible.
"He can travel all around the world and you pretty much know he's going to run well.
"I'm so proud of him."
Connections now face an anxious wait to find out whether Prince Of Arran will make the Melbourne Cup field as it stands. If not, they will be forced to let him defend his crown in the Lexus Stakes just three days beforehand.
Fellowes added: "Unfortunately the result hasn't helped me as he doesn't get a penalty and doesn't move up the order of entry for the Melbourne Cup. I think we're 38th on the list at the moment, so we're looking above us to see who might drop out.
"We're further up the list than we were this time last year, but I think a few more might stay in.
"We want to go straight to the Melbourne Cup if we can, so we'll just sit tight for the next couple of weeks and see what happens.
"We'll know by the time the Lexus comes around whether we're in the Melbourne Cup or not. If we are in we'll go straight there and if we're not, we'll run in the Lexus first."